The World Health Organization (WHO) defines Universal Health Coverage (UHC) as the outcome of health system performance, whereby all people who need health services (promotion, prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, and palliation) receive them without undue financial hardship. To mark a country’s progress towards UHC, policymakers should first be able to define, measure, and monitor UHC. To support countries in these efforts, USAID is working with the WHO and the World Bank to develop guidelines, approaches, and best practices for measuring and monitoring progress towards UHC.
At the Health Finance and Governance (HFG) Project’s most recent brown bag lunch discussion, Bob Emrey, Lead Health Systems Specialist for USAID’s Office of Health Systems, discussed the new WHO/World Bank publication “Monitoring Progress towards Universal Health Coverage at Country and Global Levels: Framework, Measures and Targets.” During his presentation, Emrey introduced a UHC monitoring framework which focuses on two interrelated, but separate measures: coverage of the population with essential health services and coverage of the population with financial protection.
Dr. Laurel Hatt, HFG’s Health Financing Lead, shared highlights from three HFG case studies analyzing how Ethiopia, Senegal, and Cote d’Ivoire are monitoring their progress towards UHC and the measurement challenges involved.
More than 20 USAID staff members attended the discussion, including Karen Cavanaugh, Director of the Office of Health Systems. Following the presentations by Bob Emery and Dr. Laurel Hatt, participants engaged in a wide-reaching discussion about UHC.
“Measuring Progress towards Universal Health Coverage” was the fifth in HFG’s ongoing series of brown bag lunch discussions held at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, DC.
Previous topics include:
- Updates to National Health Accounts: SHA 2011
- Strengthening Health Finance and Governance Systems: Insights from Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, and Haiti
- Results-Based Financing: Promising Results from Mozambique
- Towards Ending Extreme Poverty: Investing in Universal Health Coverage in Indonesia